This project argues that the National Park Service (NPS) functions as an agent of the state in perpetuating American imperialism throughout the Pacific World through presenting WWII narratives of sacrifice as worthy of inclusion into the nation. These narratives, I argue, reinforce American occupation in islands and regions that have contested relations to the nation. This project is informed by scholarship in rhetorical criticism of public memory and in American Studies analyses of the nation as an empire. Methodologically, I have combined fieldwork at each park site and official public interpretive materials, with historical archives related to the formation, design, and management of the parks to understand the relationship between past and present. Part I of this project examines War in the Pacific National Historical Park in the American territory of Guam and American Memorial Park in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. I focus my argument here on how NPS narratives of WWII cannot be separated from historical and contemporary American military interests in the Mariana Islands and the Pacific World. Part II approaches the three units of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Hawai’i, Alaska, and California, with each state’s focus, development, and accessibility being appreciably different. I argue that all are concerned with the legacies of militarized land use and narratives of sacrifice for and belonging to the nation.
|Commitee:||Kaplan, Caren, Perrault, Sarah|
|School:||University of California, Davis|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American studies, Ethnic studies|
|Keywords:||Empire, Memory, National park, Pacific, World war ii|
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